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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: It's Just that Kind of Day!
By Sarah Parker
04/08/09


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The way to get through ups and downs of life is to first recognize that they will inevitably happen. An A+ on your biology exam, the death of a loved one, the promotion you‘ve been working so hard for. When I’m going through a hard time I tell myself “this too shall pass.” However when praise worthy things happen to me, I also remind myself “this too shall pass.” Of course I praise God for the blessings he bestows upon me, but I find it beneficial not to view uppers and downers as a permanent fixture in my life.
That being said, it has been my experience that faithful obedience to Christ is conducive to having more uppers and less downers. When I was living for the world, I thought like a child, and I reasoned like a child. My reactions to people, places, and things usually made my circumstances less pleasurable (the downers were really down). However, a relationship with Christ has given me the grace to handle the down days with maturity, and to really appreciate the up days. Just like that old hymn, today I have Gods grace to sing “Whatever my lot (uppers and downers), thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul!”
The interesting thing about ups and downs is that God uses both of them to build faith and steadfastness in His people. One day I was struggling with a case of the Blahs. I was feeling gloomy and lonely and I couldn’t seem the shake the cloud that my head was in. I looked up unto heaven and took a minute to ask God to show me even the smallest glimpse of Him. I was reading my bible in a local coffee shop. There I saw an attractive woman at the till. She had her freshly ordered coffee in hand and was on the way out the door. As she walked by she turned to me and said “that’s a great book.” “Yes, yes it is,” I replied with a smile. All I needed at that moment was for one stranger to step out and identify herself as a fellow believer. I praised God for building my faith and showing me that I was not alone in my earthly walk. God knows what we need, when we need it. And it’s those glimpses of Him that carry us through the downers.
In my journey with Christ I have also learned that uppers and downers should not dictate our emotions. Indeed we are emotional beings. In the book of Job chapter 15 vs. 12, the Message bible states “Why do you let your emotions take over, lashing out and spitting fire?” It is not wise to base our experience of Christ on emotion, but rather on God’s truth. I have to make a conscious effort to reject negative or ungodly self talk, and replace it with the truth (God’s Word) on a daily basis. Only then can I have the strength to master emotions triggered by extreme ups or downs.
Are you taking appropriate measures to thank God for the ups in your life? How about the downs? It is amazing, when I look back; to see the things that I thought were downers turn into complete blessings! Remember to praise God even in the midst of your strife. He may be using those times to test your faithfulness and to cultivate you into the man or woman He needs you to be.


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Member Comments
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Jan Ackerson 04/11/09
I really like the incident of the woman in the coffee shop--it's those personal anecdotes that make devotionals interesting. More of the same, please!

It will help your readers if you put an extra 'enter' between paragraphs.

Very nice writing.